Recently what felt like the entire political weight of the country descended on Georgia. It was the subject of complaints, jokes, bonfires—and one beautiful unseen good.
I had a lunch conversation last week that left me hopeful and inspired. I’ve talked a lot about my friend Raven and the impact she has had on my life. That day was totally different and also completely the same. She consistently inspires me.
We were talking about the state of the union when she casually shared about a paint class she recently taught. Raven is a talented artist with a compassionate soul, so when people showed up at her house, encouraging her to get out and vote, she talked to them. She learned that a group had come in from New Hampshire and rented a house so they could canvas the neighborhoods advocating for their cause.
Instead of being irritated, she saw them as passionate young adults far from home. At Christmas. They all looked tired, so she asked them what they do in their down time. “What down time?” Was the response. She asked if they would like to do a paint party to take a break. That’s how Raven found herself hanging out with strangers, bonding over art.
Isn’t that just amazing? Over the summer, Raven was told to think of herself as a bridge. See, she is often the only or the first black person in a group. She is one of those rare souls who is able to just fit in anywhere. With that, she was told that there is a responsibility to bridge the gap between what is and what could be...or what should be.
As she shared the bridge analogy with me, I could tell she felt burdened by it. “A bridge has to be comfortable with people walking on them”. Wow.
I prayed for wisdom and the Lord clarified something. Too often we can mistake the beautiful gifts God has woven into us as burdens. Because often they are callings we walk out alone. The enemy constantly wants to hijack God’s work. One way is to convince us we are actually victims instead of victors leading the way.
I see Raven not as a bridge to be walked on, but as a connector. She connects people and ideas and understanding because she brings with her light and peace that passes all understanding. It creates a safe environment for hard connections to soften and mold.
Our world needs more of that. More people looking for the spot where they can connect instead of discredit. For us, it is art. It is a belief in Jesus. It is hope and it is beautiful. It’s using what you have intentionally.
Today I challenge you to look for how you can connect when you’re irritated. I have to be honest. I would have been so dismissive to the campaign girl. I would have missed a chance to love on a human. I don’t like that about me today. I’ll do better tomorrow now that I can see it’s stain.